advice about what we "shouldn't" do.
- Don't eat refined carbohydrates like white rice and white bread.
- Don't drink alcohol.
- Don't eat meat.
- Don't eat dairy products.
- Don't take cheap vitamin supplements.
- Don't buy pants with an elastic waste.
- Don't eat fried foods.
- Don't eat anything you love.
- Don't use personal hygiene products with x ingredient.
- Don't eat fast food.
- Don't eat at restaurants.
- Don't eat junk food.
- Don't drink soda.
- Don't just do cardio.
I call this the subtractive process, and so do many fitness and nutrition coaches. The problem with the subtractive process is it leaves you feeling deprived. Also, people don't like being told not to eat their favorite foods. Our inner child stomps her foot and refuses to cooperate, or sneaks off to hide somewhere to eat or do exactly what she was told not to eat or do, then she lies when she's caught with the frosting on her face.
I was curious what my friends would say about this issue, so I posed this question on my Facebook timeline:
Here is half of the responses I got:
Admittedly, these are my awesome, funny, wonderful friends who know me well enough to be themselves. BUT that actually makes their responses all the more honest and I'm sure you can find your response among these.
So, while I acknowledge it is vital to education yourself about what is healthy and what is unhealthy, I advocate a positive, additive approach to changing your eating habits. So instead of focusing on the don'ts, I recommend focusing on what you can add to your life to be healthier. Like...
- Drink water.
- Gather a strong support team.
- Eat real food. Mostly vegetables.
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Laugh more.
- Be grateful.
- Be kind.
There's a lot more I could add to this list, but these are the fundamentals. If you want to make healthy lifestyle changes, pick one positive thing to do this month and do that thing every single day. When you've got that down, add one more positive thing next month. You know what you'll discover by adding healthy, positive things to your life? You'll have less room for the unhealthy habits you've been beating yourself up over.
I always recommend starting your healthy lifestyle journey with a glass of water every morning when you first wake up. That's it. One month of drinking 8 ounces of water every morning. You'll be surprised by what happens when you commit to this positive, additive healthy habit. Hint: I like my morning water warm with a few drops of lemon essential oil or the juice of half of a fresh lemon.
Having trouble creating a healthy lifestyle? Tell me about it! I want to hear from you, and so do my other readers. When we share our experiences, we help each other.
Take care of yourselves, my friends.